There’s a good chance recruiters could be biased, but there are ways to overcome this problem.
I found this article through LinkedIn. While the article has sound advice, I would add two more pointers that I think are especially important for technical communicators.
- While you are unemployed, don’t sit around. Do something to keep your skills fresh or add new ones. Take courses either in person or online, create an e-portfolio of some of your work or other content that can showcase your abilities, if possible. If you do something that’s not easily something that can be showcased, then blog about it. When blogging, either write original articles or curate content and comment (much like I’m doing at this moment) to show that you have an understanding of the topic in the “real world”. Take a part-time job or volunteer for a group that can use your skills. All of these things keep various skills fresh, or give you new skills. It shows that you can keep active and grow.
- Tell the recruiter that you are taking that course, writing that blog, been working on that e-portfolio, and include that volunteer or part-time work on your resume if it’s applicable. Any of these things show that you haven’t been in a holding position until your next job. It shows that you are pro-active, and that’s a positive attribute to have while job searching, and a positive attribute to employers.
How do I know this? Yes, experience. There are jobs that I’ve gotten for my writing ability because of this blog, for example. I have an e-portfolio which I’ve generally kept up to date as my work has been published or promoted. There are experiences from my volunteer work first with the Cub Scouts, and then with the STC that have given me an advantage when talking about interviews about certain topics.
Always learning, and always growing–whether you are unemployed or not–is the key to staying competitive if you are ever in the position of wanting to move ahead, or just get a job in the first place. It’s been a big advantage to me as I’ve moved from position to position. Give it a try.
What do you think of this article? Is this sound advice? Do you agree with the “not staying still” during employment? Include your comments below.